Being Grateful – November Newsletter

Photo by Sasha Prasastika from Pexels

We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. In a year with so many challenges and uncertainties, it was good to spend time with family, although it be distanced or virtual, and reflect on all that we are thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

One of the more surprising things of 2020 has been strong activity in the housing markets. We have seen the highest sales prices within the past three months in Denton, Collin, Dallas & Tarrant counties. Inventories have dropped and volume is up year over year. There has been a decrease in sale volume within the past month which is not uncommon heading into the winter season.

Market Reports

Median Sales Price

OCTOBER 2020
 
Denton County
$343,000 | +9.8%
Collin County
$366,700 | +11.1%
Dallas County
$285,000 | +17.5%
Tarrant County
$265,000 | +7.7%

Volume

OCTOBER 2020
 
Denton County
1,621 | +26.1%
Collin County
1,786 | +33.2%
Dallas County
2,320 | +13.8%
Tarrant County
2,613 | +10.0%

Months of Inventory

OCTOBER 2020
 
Denton County
1.2 | -61.3%
Collin County
1.3 | -62.9%
Dallas County
2.2 | -38.9%
Tarrant County
1.3 | -48.0%

Days on Market

OCTOBER 2020
 
Denton County
12 | -61.3%
Collin County
14 | -65.9%
Dallas County
14 | -46.2%
Tarrant County
11 | -56.0%

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates continue to be at record lows which has created a refinance boom. Per Freddie Mac, the current 30 year fixed rate is 2.72%. Rates have hit a record low 13 times this year.

Christmas Card Campaign

Looking on toward the holidays, what are some of your favorite traditions and activities? Do you send Christmas cards? We are supporting the Sending Love Christmas Card Campaign which is supporting sending cards to those in our local nursing homes. If you would like to send a few cards, please sign up here.

If you have any questions about real estate appraising or our markets please contact us at

www.dwslaterco.com.

October Newsletter-Happy Halloween!

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Happy Halloween from the DW Slater Company! We do wish you a safe Halloween and end of October. This year has been unlike any other and that certainly includes the housing market. The markets in North Texas appeared to have paused when the pandemic began but the demand for home space combined with low inventory has put upward pressure on prices. Spring came in the fall. Typically our market trends up and peaks in June or July and then in August, when school begins, the market slows. With schools, delaying openings, virtual learning options, the market activity in August and September picked up. With more people working from home and learning from home, there is substantial demand for larger home space. We have all of the numbers and charts included in this newsletter but first a little Halloween fun.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Here are some fun Halloween related articles:

REMINDER! Tonight Daylight Saving Time ends so set clocks back! So if you have oven clocks or an old fashion battery operated clock turn them back an hour. Some don’t want to add any more time to 2020 but use that time to get some rest!

Adjusting to Daylight Savings is a problem for many as it impacts our regular sleep patterns and rhythms. This can impact our health. Add pandemic, economic stress, and natural disasters and this can lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Read here for some great suggestions to help us adjust.

Real Estate Market Charts

Here are the latest numbers in our markets

Median Sales Price

Denton County
$333,995 | +7.7%

Collin County
$363,995 | +11.0%

Dallas County
$284,900 | +15.3%

Tarrant County
$264,840 | +10.4%
 

Months of Supply

Denton County
1.4 | -56.3%

Collin County
1.5 | -58.3%

Dallas County
2.2 | -38.9%

Tarrant County
1.4 | -46.2%

Days on Market

Denton County
15 | -55.9%

Collin County
16 | -56.8%

Dallas County
15 | -40.0%

Tarrant County
12 | -42.9%

Volume

Denton County
1,627 | +29.8%

Collin County
1,758 | +26.5%

Dallas County
2,456 | +18.4%

Tarrant County
2,743 | +16.8%

The percentage numbers are all year over year trends and they are all up significantly. Sale price trends have dropped slightly from last month in Denton County but remain upward in Collin, Dallas & Tarrant counties. Supplies are at major lows with all but Dallas County at less than 2 months of inventory. The number of days on the market is down in all four counties and volume is up year over year in all four counties, although down from the previous months.

We will continue to watch the real estate trends. Mortgage rates continue at record lows. The demand for housing is strong. Here new construction has really been booming as builders are trying to keep up with demand. Economic uncertainty is still very much a factor for the future. DFW is slowing regaining jobs lost in the pandemic shut down. In September, North Texas gained 8,900 but it is still 131,400 jobs below where it was last year.

Have you been thinking about building or buying a barndominium? Do you know what a barndominium is? Check out our recent guest post on Barndominums by Don Lowe – 8 Reasons the Barndominium Is Gaining Popularity in North Texas 

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you updated on how North Texas markets are impacted.


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8 Reasons the Barndominium Is Gaining Popularity in North Texas – by Don Howe

We wrote about barndominiums last year, as we have been seeing more and more of them in North Texas. These are a new concept to many. Enjoy this guest post from Don Lowe, creator of Barndominium Life, a barndo enthusiast who aims to educate, inform, and inspire you to take action and Build Your Dream Barndominium. So check out these 8 reasons why barndominiums are becoming popular in North Texas.

8 Reasons the Barndominium Is Gaining Popularity in North Texas

If you have driven in North Texas in recent years, you have likely seen an increase in the number of barndominiums. Designed to combine work and living spaces, these large buildings have become a popular choice for those in rural regions.

Before choosing a prefabricated home or a traditional home, explore the top eight reasons why the barndominium should be your next North Texas house.

1. Affordability

Price is a major factor for any type of new home construction and barndominiums tend to provide the best value. Traditional homes cost between $150 to $200 per square foot to build in North Texas.

The average cost of a barndominium in the same region is about $100 to $130 per square foot. Choosing a barndominium may save you tens of thousands of dollars.

The price varies based on a variety of factors, such as the general contractor that you hire, the type of foundation, and the size of the barndominium. You also need to consider the quality of the materials and the extra details, such as doors, windows, and special design features.

Obtaining a construction loan for any type of new home often requires excellent credit and a suitable down payment. By choosing an affordable barndominium, you may improve your chances of getting approved for a loan.

Even with a high-end barndominium, you are likely to save money compared to building a traditional home. The cost-savings may give you the ability to build the home of your dreams.

2. Protection

Barndominiums often feature post frame or steel frame construction. Both options provide increased structural support compared to the stud frame construction used for traditional homes.

North Texas is vulnerable to severe weather. The area around the Red River Valley is especially prone to tornadoes. A barndominium is better equipped to withstand strong winds and impact from debris.

The roof is also supported by the entire frame, including the columns and horizontal girts. This increases the load-bearing strength and overall durability of the roof for dealing with extreme conditions.

Adding a basement to a barndominium may offer even more protection. A full or partial basement can provide a safe place to wait out tornadoes.

3. Open Floor Plans

A traditional home has limited design options, due to the need for load-bearing walls. Creating a wide, open living area without adding columns or supporting walls is difficult.

The frame of a barndominium allows you to use large open designs. You do not need interior walls for support. This provides more versatility when choosing the layout of the rooms and hallways.

Barndominiums were originally intended to add living space to barns and workshops. If you live in a rural area, you may find it convenient to combine these spaces.

The open design allows you to add almost any type of space to your home. Along with a barn or a workshop, you could add a studio or a garage. You can even add vaulted ceilings and other interesting design features with less of a hassle compared to a traditional home.

4. Energy Efficiency

Compared to steel frame buildings, post-frame barndominiums have thicker wall cavities. The thicker cavities create more of a barrier from the outdoors, helping to improve the energy efficiency of the design. The extra space inside the walls also provides more room for insulation.

The wood posts used for the columns of the frame are natural insulators, which makes a post-frame more efficient compared to stud frames.

Choosing a barndominium with an open design may also aid air circulation. There is more room for the air to circulate uninterrupted by walls. These features could significantly cut your North Texas energy bills throughout the year.

5. Large Homes

Thanks to the affordability of barndominiums, you may be able to build a home with more square footage. For example, $250,000 is likely to pay for a much larger barndominium compared to a traditional house.

The extra space that you gain may be used to add bedrooms or increase the size of rooms. You could also add dedicated rooms, such as a den or a family game room. With two-story ceilings and rooms that run the length or width of the barndominium, you have endless design options.

6. Room to Grow

Adding on to a home is a costly process, especially with a traditional home. The studs are often spaced 16 to 24 inches apart. This creates a challenge when adding windows or doors after construction.

Barndominiums provide more flexibility for future renovations and additions. The frames allow support columns to be spaced six to eight feet apart, instead of two feet or less. With more space between the columns, it becomes easier to add bay windows, double doors, and other specialty design elements.

7. Long Lasting

A barndominium may last for generations, whether you choose a post frame or steel frame construction process. Steel is one of the most durable materials available. When using a post-frame, the timber is protected from rot and decay.

The frame also features support beams and girts for increased structural integrity, which protects against shifting and settling.

With increased strength, your barndominium is less prone to damage and natural wear and tear. If you hire a reliable contractor, it should offer a comfortable place to live for the rest of your life.

8. Lower Taxes and Insurance

Building a barndominium may help you pay lower property taxes. In North Texas and most of the United States, barndominiums are taxed at the same rate as a traditional residential property.

Fortunately, some counties make distinctions between living quarters and workspaces. Workspaces are typically considered the non-heated areas of the property, such as a garage, barn, or workshop.

If the county where you choose to build your barndominium does not count non-heated areas, you are likely to have your property assessed for a lower value. This results in lower taxes and insurance.

The bottom line is that barndominiums are becoming a popular site throughout the country, including in Northern Texas. If you want an affordable new home with open floor plans and endless design possibilities, a barndominium may be the right choice.

Don Lowe runs BarndominiumLife.com and became inspired to do so after becoming infatuated with barndominiums and the barndo lifestyle. BarndominiumLife.com was created with the intent of learning more about barndos. Our 138 page eBook is the #1 new release in Home Design on a little website called Amazon.com

September Newsletter- Inventory Falling with the Leaves

 

 

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus

 

 

 

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

The weather is just slightly starting to cool here in North Texas. It is officially the season of fall and the leaves have started to change, ever so slightly. Soon we will be pulling out our sweaters and jackets! Even though I have lived in Texas my entire life, I have never been a fan of the heat. So understandably, I love it when the weather begins to cool down. For us, fall means football games, sweaters, pumpkins, sips of hot chocolates, cool crisp walks or bike rides, and a time to slow down and enjoy the cool crisp air. What does it mean for you?

As we know, this year has been unlike any other that any of us has experienced. The housing market, typically begins to cool off during the fall season, however, it took a pause during the pandemic and then took off the past month. Sale prices are up, year over year, in all counties and inventory has drastically fallen. The pandemic pause created high demand for housing, low inventory and low mortgage rates have all pushed prices upward. Housing starts have not been able to keep up with demand.  Confidence among single-family homebuilders increased to a record high in September. Builders, however, remained concerned about rising costs for materials and delivery delays, especially for lumber.

Our rural markets have also been showing price increases for some of the same reasons. There has been an increase in the demand to move out of the urban and suburban areas to more rural settings since the pandemic. We will share some stats from our more rural counties in this newsletter. Many are adjusting to this more country life. Think ” Home on the Range” like this gem from Gene Autry ( we are located only five miles from his birthplace)

Let’s first take a look at our main four counties:

Median Sales Price

AUGUST 2020

Denton County
$335,000 | +6.3%
Collin County
$370,000 | +8.8%
Dallas County
$280,000 | +12.9%
Tarrant County
$260,175 | +5.3%

Price Per Square Foot

AUGUST 2020

Denton County
$148 | +5.7%
Collin County
$146 | +5.8%
Dallas County
$152 | +11.8%
Tarrant County
$133 | +5.6%

 

Months of Inventory

AUGUST 2020

Denton County
1.6 | -52.9%
Collin County
1.7 | -55.3%
Dallas County
2.3 | -37.8%

Tarrant County
 1.5 | -42.3%
 

Volume

AUGUST 2020

Denton County
1,809 | +9.6%
Collin County
1,881 | +14.6%
Dallas County
2,465 | +4.6%
Tarrant County
2,811 | +3.1%

 

Rural Markets

This month, we are adding some of the numbers for our more rural counties as we have seen significant increases in them as well. It is noted, however, that since the rural markets have fewer numbers of sales, the markets tend to fluctuate more erratically.

Median Sale Price

AUGUST 2020

Cooke County
$246,250 | +17.3%
Grayson County
$205,000 | +11.7%
Wise County
$252,000 | -14.2%
Parker County
$325,000 | +12.9%

 

Months of Inventory

AUGUST 2020

Cooke County
2.9 | -50.0%
Grayson County
2.7 | -42.6%
Wise County
3.1 | -26.2%
Parker County
2.7 | -38.6%

 Volume

AUGUST 2020

Cooke County
74 | +29.8%
Grayson County
245 | +20.1%
Wise County
99 | -14.7%
Parker County
326 | +8.7%


So as you can see from the charts, our rural markets have seen a lot of activity and price appreciation, with the exception of Wise County which had a low number of sales for the past month. As stated previously, the rural markets fluctuate more frequently this could just be a mild fluctuation. Here are the price trend numbers, seasonally adjusted:

AUGUST 2020

Cooke County
$220,000 | +4.8%
Grayson County
$191,967 | +3.8%
Wise County
$250,000 | +2.5%
Parker County
$312,000 | +9.2%

All four counties are showing upward price trends when seasonally adjusted. 

Fall Recipe

Shannon’s Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe:

1 box white or yellow cake mix 

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice)

1-3 eggs (see cake mix directions for amount) Vegetable oil (see cake mix directions for amount)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Consult your cake mix box to find the number of eggs and oil as directed on the box. Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and well-blended. Add pumpkin and cinnamon. Mix on low until incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. Cool and serve with butter or frost with cream cheese frosting.

Please share with us some of your favorite recipes! We’d love to give them a try!

Great Cycle Challenge Completed!

We completed our Great Cycle Challenge. Thanks to all that sponsored us! We reached our goal of $1,000 towards cancer research and 200 miles in September. You can read about our journey here:

In case you missed it, we had a guest blog this month –5 Things You Should Research Before Downsizing During the Pandemic

We will continue to cover the North Texas housing market for you in our monthly newsletter! Please let us know if you have any questions or need appraisal services.

Low Supply, Huge Demand, Prices Climb-August Newsletter

Photo by Dorothy Castillo from Pexels

August has been a blur for us. Historically low-interest rates + Low Inventory + Pent Up Demand = High Activity in the Housing Market. We have been very busy and we are not alone. The DW Slater Company and appraisers have a high demand for their services at this time. We are thankful to our clients for trusting us to continue to provide quality appraisal services in a timely manner.

The housing market in North Texas has been very active. The number of houses sold is up double digits from last year in all four counties. Prices have increased in July. This is amid the pandemic. Many are wondering how this can be. With so many job losses due to the pandemic, wouldn’t that cause the prices to go down? The pandemic has caused many to rethink their current situation. Many are anticipating and hoping those jobs come back. We are seeing many that are moving out of the cities to the suburban and more rural areas. Some are moving to different homes to better accommodate work from home space.

There are some headwinds that are troubling. As we see many jobs in jeopardy, such as the airline industry, the retail industry, and many more, this will threaten homeowners ability to pay their mortgages. We will continue to watch the numbers, particularly the number of foreclosures going forward.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Median Price Trends

JULY 2020
Denton County
$337,380 | +4.6%
Collin County
$365,000 | +6.2%
Dallas County
$281,250 | +13.4%
Tarrant County
$260,000 | +5.7%

Inventory

JULY 2020
Denton County
1.9 | -45.7%
Collin County
2.0 | -48.7%
Dallas County
2.5 | -32.4%
Tarrant County
1.7 | -34.6%
 

Price per Square Foot

JULY 2020
Denton County
$146 | +3.5%
Collin County
$143 | +2.1%
Dallas County
$150 | +7.9%
Tarrant County
$132 | +3.9%
 

Volume

JULY 2020
Denton County
2,040 | +21.5%
Collin County
2,172 | +23.1%
Dallas County
2,882 | +18.1%
Tarrant County
3,267 | +14.8%

Days on the Market

JULY 2020
Denton County
19 | -24.0%
Collin County
22 | -31.3%
Dallas County
18 | 0.0%
Tarrant County
13 | -7.1%

As you can see, there has been a lot of activity in our markets. The inventories continue to decline, sale volume has increased and marketing times decrease.

Foreclosure Sales:

REO sales reported in the NTREIS MLS in Denton, Collin, Dallas, Tarrant Counties.

At this time were are not seeing an increase in distressed sales. We will continue to watch this trend.

Riding in September

We will be riding in the Great Cycle Challenge this September. Our goal is to ride 200 miles. This ride was originally scheduled for June but was postponed. We are riding in memory of our friend, Greg Harden, that we lost this year to cancer. Please consider sponsoring our ride and helping us to fight cancer. You can also follow along with us on our page. Click here for more information.

We hope that you are doing well. If you have any questions or appraisal needs please feel free to reach out to us at https://www.dwslaterco.com/.

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Summer Heat Amid a Pandemic-July Newsletter

Cows cooling off at a ranch in Wise County

We are now into the very hot months of summer in North Texas with average temperatures of 96 degrees (not factoring in heat indexes in the triple digits). The housing market has been on a pandemic pause but last month has moved upward. As this pandemic is lasting longer than many had hoped or expected, there is now a pent up demand for housing in North Texas.

After spending more time at home, the need for a home office and a desire to be in a less dense area, are making a move to different housing more appealing for many. As a result, the number of sales for the month of June has surged. Supply is down and volume is up. New home starts are up 17.9% from last year as supply is trying to keep up with demand. The more rural markets are also seeing lots of activity. We will share some of the data from the rural counties this month so make sure to scroll down for the interactive charts!

The Texas economy is still struggling but recovering some during the pandemic. According to the latest report from Texas A&M Real Estate Center:

The Texas economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s economy lost 696,200 nonagricultural jobs from June 2019 to June 2020, an annual decline of 5.4 percent, smaller than the nation’s employment decline of 8.6 percent. The nongovernment sector lost 610,300 jobs, an annual decline of 5.6 percent, also lower than the nation’s employment decline of 9.1 percent in the private sector. Texas and U.S. annual job loss rates last month were both smaller than their May rates, making June the second month of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Added to the mix of factors impacting real estate, mortgage rates are at their lowest in 50 years, with rates dipping below 3 % with a 30 year fixed rate at 2.98%.

These low rates have certainly encouraged many to buy or refinance a home. However, the longer the pandemic and uncertainty exist, the more job losses will impact the purchasing power of many. Recent job losses reported in our area- JC Penney with 1,000 jobs cut and American Airlines is laying off and furloughing 25,000 jobs. Both of these companies are headquartered in North Texas and the impacts of these job losses have yet to be seen.

Let’s look at the numbers for our main four counties:

Median Sales Price

Denton County
$325,000 | +1.2%
Collin County
$360,000 | +1.6%
Dallas County
$270,000 | +1.5%
Tarrant County
$255,000 | +2.0%

Median Price Per Square Foot

Denton County
$144 | +2.9%
Collin County
$144 | +4.3%
Dallas County
$147 | +2.8%
Tarrant County
$131 | +4.0%

Days on Market

Denton County
20 | -20.0%
Collin County
25 | -10.7%
Dallas County
20 | +25.0%
Tarrant County
14 | +7.7%

Months of Supply

Denton County
2.0 | -42.9%
Collin County
2.2 | -45.0%
Dallas County
2.5 | -30.6%
Tarrant County
1.7 | -34.6%

Volume

Denton County
1,772 | +17.9%
Collin County
1,864 | +8.8%
Dallas County
2,436 | +7.9%
Tarrant County
2,847 | +6.0%

Rural Markets

Now, let’s take a look at some of our less dense and rural market areas. We have included Cooke, Grayson, Wise, and Parker Counties. These, of course, are not all of the more rural counties around the DFW market but they are some of the counties we most often serve.

Median Sales Price

Cooke County
$248,200 | +10.9%
Grayson County
$195,298 | -5.4%
Wise County
$273,900 | +9.6%
Parker County
$341,000 | +11.8%

Months of Supply

Cooke County
3.4 | -42.4%
Grayson County
3.2 | -30.4%
Wise County
3.1 | -26.2%
Parker County
3.0 | -25.0%

Volume

Cooke County
42 | +7.7%
Grayson County
244 | +34.1%
Wise County
113 | +18.9%
Parker County
313 | +19.5%
 
 

These markets are seeing double-digit growth in the number of sales, as well as a large dip in the supply and an increase in the median sales price. This uptick in activity in the more rural markets has been attributed to the uncertainty in the more densely populated areas. Some are really just wanting to get away from it all and are looking to the rural areas for the respite.

Life Goes On

Although we are in the midst of a pandemic, which has cause much disruption in the world, we are reminded that life still goes on. People are still buying houses, getting married and having babies. We are proud to announce the birth of our fourth grandson! He was born this month and is doing well.

“In three words I can sum up everything I learned about life: Life Goes On”

Robert Frost

As always, if you have any questions about real estate appraising or need services, please do not hesitate to contact us. Stay safe and well!

Interesting Real Estate Related Reads & Recommendations

Two Kinds of Bedrooms and Bathrooms– Cleveland Appraisal Blog

Five Ways To Identify An Increasing Real Estate Market– Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Best Home Equity Loans of 2020 – Money

Listen Closely to the Housing Narrative– Jonathan Miller, Housing Notes

5 Excel Resources and How-To Guides for Appraisers McKissock Blog

Wisdom of Crowds and 108 Year Old House– Scott Cullen, Working RE

5 Lessons Learned About Giving and Business– Michael Perry, Appraisal Buzz

June Newsletter-Summer Time is Here while Supply & Volume Show Big Declines in Housing Market

Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Today is the official first day of summer. Can you believe it? Spring just really meshed into summer since all of the stay home orders. Nothing this year is normal as we are still in the midst of this pandemic. We hope that you are able to find a safe place to stay cool and enjoy your summer time.

We recently took our kids to visit Turner Falls in Oklahoma which is the cover picture. It is a waterfall from a natural spring in the Arbuckle Mountains. We love the area and were able to spread out , social distance, hike, swim and enjoy the beautiful geologic formations.

The housing markets have so far not seen big declines in prices during the pandemic but the supply and volume show drastic decline during the pandemic. Both the supply and inventory have double-digit declines YoY but prices have remained relatively flat. So why haven’t prices declined? As we discussed last month, the supply and demand both decreased in tandem. Typically if the demand decreased but supply remained the same, a lowering in price would occur. During this pandemic, the supply has also decreased, keeping the supply/demand ratio similar to prior to the pandemic.

Predictions during this time are difficult. Texas is currently experiencing a “double whammy” as low oil price and a pandemic are impacting the economy. Texas has been reopening but as we have, covid19 cases have been climbing. This threatens a strong economic recovery, which would then impact the housing market.

Mortgage rates remain at record lows.

Let’s dive in to the numbers:

Median Sales Price

Denton County
$322,000 | -0.3%

Collin County
$345,000 | 0.0%

Dallas County
$250,000 | -3.8%

Tarrant County
$247,000 | -0.2%

Months Supply of Inventory

Denton County
2.4 | -31.4%

Collin County
2.5 | -34.2%

Dallas County
2.8 | -20.0%

Tarrant County
1.9 | -24.0%

Volume

Denton County
1,245 | -24.8%

Collin County
1,266 | -31.1%

Dallas County
1,694 | -36.0%

Tarrant County
1,953 | -31.4%

Median Days on Market

Denton County
24 | +20.0%

Collin County
25 | -3.8%

Dallas County
20 | +5.3%

Tarrant County
16 | +23.1%

New Listings

Denton County
2,071 | -9.0%

Collin County
2,151 | -15.5%

Dallas County
3,340 | -7.9%

Tarrant County
3,210 | -17.9%

As we move forward, we will continue to watch the housing market and economy for North Texas. As we are still in the middle of this pandemic, we do wish you all safety and health. As always, please let us know if you have questions or comments about real estate appraising or need appraisal services.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads and those who are like fathers to us. You will never know how important you are. We celebrate you!

Interesting Reads or Listens

Don’t hold your breath for a Covid discount– Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Unintended Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic– Birmingham Appraisal Blog

The economy is tanking. So why aren’t home prices dropping?-Curbed

Appraisal Terms That Are Out of This World-Cleveland Appraisal Blog

Hundreds of new homes coming in Royse City northeast of Dallas– Dallas Morning News

Equestrian apparel company Ariat could bring hundreds of jobs to Fort Worth– Dallas Morning News

The Lockdown Has Relegated Housing To Background Noise– Housing Notes

Does My Neighborhood Really Need to be Analyzed? -The Appraiser’s Advocate

May Newsletter- Finding our Way in These Times

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

As Dickens penned, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” The last two months have been times like none of us have ever seen. I was able to visit with my grandmother who is 91 and in a nursing home. While Facetiming, I asked her if she ever experienced anything like this pandemic. She said, “No, not anything can compare”. She was a nurse during WWII and lived through the depression. She has been around but she said nothing can compare. I think that is certainly true.

Times have been hard and these hard times are not over, but there have been some good things to happen as some families have been able to spend more time together and prioritize what is most important. I have seen courageous frontline workers and many appreciating all of those jobs that are essential for supply chains. As I type this newsletter, we just launched astronauts in space with a reusable rocket.

Our apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out as we are now at the end of the month, but we have been busy and most importantly we had our son’s wedding this month (pic at the end of the newsletter). There were many adjustments and last-minute decisions that had to be made. The wedding went from a large to a very small gathering and then from an outdoor wedding to indoor due to the weather. They have been together 8 years so we agreed with not delaying it! We will have a large celebration later but in the meantime, we are very happy they started their married life together and wish them the best of times!

In regards to the housing market, some have tried to compare it to 2008 or 1980s S& L crisis but a forced shut down during a pandemic of epic proportions is not like any of those things. Many are thinking that the market should be tanking but what many do not understand is when we are looking at a market, we are looking backward. There is usually around 30 days, sometimes more from the time buyers and sellers have a contract and then the sale is actually closed. The numbers shown on the charts below are up to April, so many of these sales began in March. Next month’s numbers will be more telling of what occurred during the shutdown. We can get a glimpse of the future by looking at the pendings and number of listings of which were down.

In many ways, the market appears to have hit a pause button. It seems that the supply and demand both retracted in tandem, meaning that overall prices, as of yet haven’t seen significant declines. As we shared in our January & February newsletters, the market was really heating up before the pandemic. We see prices either slightly up or flat for the month of April. The supply has decreased as many were taken off the market during the shutdown. Sale volume is also down, which is not surprising during the shutdown.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Median Sales Price

APRIL 2020
Denton County
$314,000 | -0.3%
Collin County
$347,500 | +2.8%
Dallas County
$260,000 | +4.4%
Tarrant County
$255,992 | +6.7%

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

APRIL 2020
Denton County
$145 | +2.1%
Collin County
$145 | +2.1%
Dallas County
$164 | +0.6%
Tarrant County
$134 | +3.9%

Months Supply of Inventory

APRIL 2020
Denton County
2.4 | -25.0%
Collin County
2.6 | -27.8%
Dallas County
2.7 | -18.2%
Tarrant County
2.0 | -13.0%

Volume

APRIL 2020
Denton County
1,190 | -14.9%
Collin County
1,217 | -19.9%
Dallas County
1,679 | -28.7%
Tarrant County
1,890 | -25.1%

Days on Market

APRIL 2020
Denton County
18 | -21.7%
Collin County
22 | -12.0%
Dallas County
20 | 0.0%
Tarrant County
16 | +6.7%

New Listings

APRIL 2020
Denton County
1,608 | -25.8%
Collin County
1,576 | -34.8%
Dallas County
2,391 | -32.7%
Tarrant County
2,623 | -23.9%

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead , since Texas is now in various stages of reopening, we will see if these trends begin to change. Mortgage interest rates are at all time lows but lending has tightened. If some jobs don’t come back, the economy will be impact and the available pool of buyers will decline and impact the market.

Celebrations & Anniversaries!

This is our 5th year of doing our monthly newsletter. The very first newsletter was sent out 5 years ago this month. We have changed the format a bit but we hope you enjoy it. Please give us feedback, questions or topics you would like us to cover.

We also want to celebrate Shannon Slater for 14 years of working at the DW Slater Company. Shannon joined the company in May 14 years ago making this a husband and wife appraiser team. Shannon thought, if it didn’t work out, she would go back to being a school teacher. After 14 years, we can safely say that it has worked out. Happy Work Anniversary!

Now for that wedding picture we promised! We are so very happy for our son and his new bride. We wish them the best in their future together!

As we look forward to the summer months, we will continue to provide you with monthly updates and information on the housing market. We also love being your appraisal service provider. If you have any questions about real estate appraisals, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will get through these times. The beach picture we took a year ago in Hawaii. It was a peaceful place and a peaceful time. We will find our way back. This too shall pass. Until then, enjoy a little bit of Styx, The Best of Times.

April Newsletter-From a Distance

Photo by Mike from Pexels
From a distance we are instruments, Marching in a common band
(lyrics from “From a Distance”, Bette Midler)

We pray you are all safe and well during this unprecedented time of dealing with the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Here in Texas, a disaster proclamation was ordered on March 13th. Then on March 19th Governor Greg Abbott issued more executive orders to mitigate the spread of the virus. This order closed restaurants, bars, gyms, massage parlors, schools, and prohibiting visits to nursing home facilities. On March 31st, an executive order implementing essential services and protocols. Several more orders have been issued since and you can review them here. So through mid-March through April, we saw more and more activities ceasing in order to slow the spread of the virus, now as we are coming to the end of April, we are seeing the beginning of the reopening of activities.

How Has This Impacted Real Estate Appraisals?

For appraisers, we are still working and providing appraisal services as identified under essential services. (note this will vary from some states or counties with greater restrictions). There have been many changes to how we can appraise, with an emphasis on allowing appraisals to be performed “from a distance”. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and USDA have all made changes and allowances for desktop or exterior only appraisals where the appraiser does not enter your home. There are ways for the homeowner to send pictures and information about the home so that the appraiser doesn’t have to enter the home. We must point out that not all loans will qualify for this type of appraisal and full interior inspections of homes we still be required. We recommend discussing with your lender the possibility of using one of these appraisal alternatives if you have concerns about the appraiser coming into your home.

If you do end up having a full inspection there are things that you and the appraiser can do to safely perform an interior inspection. We recommend:

  1. Try to be vacant from the home at the time of the inspection or go outside when the appraiser is inside.
  2. Have all doors open and lights on. This is so the appraiser doesn’t have to touch anything within the home.
  3. Please inform the appraiser if anyone in the home has been ill.
  4. The appraiser can wear disposable gloves and a mask to help minimize any potential spread of viruses. We also sanitize before and after an inspection.

Appraisers and lenders are doing their best to navigate these temporary changes during this pandemic. There is a lot of information regarding the changes and requirements. Here are a few resources that we recommend that have all of the information at one site:

  1. McKissock –Coronavirus and Appraising: A Resource Guide to the Crisis
  2. Appraisal Institute- Coronavirus Update
  3. Wallitt Solutions- COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus
  4. Class Valuation- COVID-19 Appraisal Flexibilities Guide

How Has Coronavirus Impacted Our Real Estate Markets?

As it relates to the real estate market in our area, it is still too early to determine the impacts of the pandemic on our markets. Looking at the stats for March, the impact has been minimal but what you have to understand, that the sales that closed in March began in February. The sales that close in April were typically under contract in March. Real estate moves a bit slower so it’s more difficult to see the immediate effects. Real estate agents have moved to online virtual showings, buyers become hesitant during times of economic uncertainty, and lending has become tighter during this time.

We can look at listings and pendings to get a bit of a glance into the future. We will share the current market updates for our main four counties as well as a few additional charts as well to see what is going on in the market. We are seeing a slowing in the number of sales in April which is expected. Let’s dive in:

Interactive Charts

Median Sales Price

MARCH 2020
Denton County
$319,000 | +0.9%
Collin County
$345,000 | +2.8%
Dallas County
$263,000 | +7.3%
Tarrant County
$246,502 | +3.6%
Sale prices for March are still moving up, which shows how strong this market was as the pandemic hit.  All four counties increased YoY. 
 

Pending Sales

MARCH 2020
Denton County
1,324 | -13.2%
Collin County
1,337 | -18.5%
Dallas County
1,899 | -23.7%
Tarrant County
2,153 | -20.0%
Pending sales are down YoY in all four counties, which speaks to the future lowering of sale volume in April.  This certainly makes sense due to the shutting down of businesses and stay at home orders that came into place. 
 

Months Supply

MARCH 2020
Denton County
2.3 | -20.7%
Collin County
2.5 | -26.5%
Dallas County
2.6 | -16.1%
Tarrant County
1.9 | -13.6%
The supply of homes has also decreased in all four counties as buyers have either canceled their listings, temporarily taken them off the market, or decided to wait until the curve has flattened on fighting the coronavirus. 
 

Volume

MARCH 2020
Denton County
1,349 | +3.0%
Collin County
1,393 | +3.9%
Dallas County
2,106 | -0.3%
Tarrant County
2,245 | -7.0%
When it comes to sale volume, Dallas & Tarrant County were both down for March whereas Denton and Collin county have modest increased YoY. 

Days on Market

MARCH 2020
Denton County
26 | -13.3%
Collin County
27 | -27.0%
Dallas County
20 | -9.1%
Tarrant County
18 | -5.3%
The number of days on the market is down in all four counties, which again shows some of the strength of the market heading into April before everything was shut down. Marketing times are still very low and under one month. 

Looking Forward

Looking a little into the future. Here I have compared sale volume for each county for the month of March and what has currently reported as sold in April as of 04/23/2020 for three years. Based on the current raw data that we have so far in April.

Denton County sale volume is down 21.2%

Collin County volume is down 21.7% YoY

Dallas County volume is down 33% YoY

Tarrant County volume is down 29.5% YoY

So , more impacts from the coronavirus will be seen next month and the months to follow. It will be interesting to see the long term impacts of the pandemic as we move forward through the summer months. Please reach out to us with any questions you have. We are here for your appraisal needs.

Stay safe and take care. Stay tuned.

March Newsletter- False Start, Pandemic

Normally, I would have a lovely picture of spring full of discussions of the spring market activity but, as we all know, there is nothing normal going on in our lives right now. We now use the new term “social distancing”, kids are distant learners from home, churches are learning to stream their services online, families are using Zoom or Google Hangouts to connect and many have been laid off as their employers have been forced to close.

When Italy began to have major struggles all of the world leaders began to realize the seriousness of this particular virus. The COVID-19 virus as it is now identified as. The long incubation time of this virus has made it much harder to manage because many are spreading it unknowingly. We are all now trying to do our part to “flatten the curve” to lessen the strain on our medical resources as we limit our distance from others.

This world pandemic has been unprecedented. Many who study real estate markets have been trying to compare the impacts of this pandemic to previous events but there is nothing to compare to this sudden cessation of the economy.

False Start

Our real estate markets had taken off in January and they were continuing that pace through February. The charts provided in this market update are from February as we don’t have all of the numbers in for March. Everything was going great until everything came to an abrupt halt with the sudden need to try to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Have you ever been to a track meet and a running event had a false start? If you recall our newsletter last month, it showed runners bounding out of the starting blocks. With a false start, runners burst out of the blocks at the sound of the starting gun only to come to a quick stop once the gun sounds again signaling a false start. Someone started too early so the race has to restart. This is how I visualize the housing markets in North Texas. The markets were off to a great running start, only to be halted with all momentum ended.

So as we take a look at this market update, we know that all of this was before any impact of the global pandemic was evident.

We will be watching the direct impacts of the Covid19 crisis on our markets so look for that in next month’s newsletter. Let’s now look back to “Pre-Covid19” markets in February for Denton, Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties. Out of the starting blocks and going strong, we saw prices up, supplies down and volume up.

Median Sales Price Trends

The median sale price trends in all 4 counties are up YoY. See the percentages below. The stats from last month – Denton is down 0.95%; Collin is up 1.66%; Dallas is up 2.5% and Tarrant is up 0.83% from January.

FEBRUARY 2020
Denton County
$310,000 | +1.9%

Collin County
$337,820 | +4.0%

Dallas County
$246,000 | +4.7%

Tarrant County
$242,000 | +5.2%

Volume

The number of sales is up in all four counties with the exception of Tarrrant County which is down a slight 2.2%

FEBRUARY 2020
Denton County
1,084 | +16.7%

Collin County
1,150 | +11.3%

Dallas County
1,756 | +7.9%

Tarrant County
1,833 | -2.2%

Months Supply of Inventory

All four counties have a decrease in supply as the demand for housing at the first of the year has been strong.  All three counties have less than 3 months of supply. 

FEBRUARY 2020
Denton County
2.2 | -24.1%

Collin County
2.4 | -25.0%

Dallas County
2.5 | -16.7%

Tarrant County
1.8 | -14.3%

Days on the Market

The number of days on the market decreased in both the northern suburb counties of Denton and Collin.  The number of days on the market increased for the more urban counties of Dallas and Tarrant YoY, however the number of days on the market is less than Denton and Collin counties. 

FEBRUARY 2020
Denton County
42 | -4.5%

Collin County
46 | -14.8%

Dallas County
32 | +33.3%

Tarrant County
26 | +8.3%

Appraising During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FDIC have provided guidelines and some temporary exceptions to appraisal requirements. In some instances, an exterior inspection can be made rather than a full inspection and in some cases, a desktop appraisal may be suitable. This is a decision that can be made by the lending institution and perhaps with a discussion with the appraiser. Here are links to the recently published guidelines:

Fannie Mae’s Temporary Guidelines

Freddie Mac’s Temporary Guidelines

FDIC FAQs During COVID-19 (Answer #12 & #13 relate to Appraisals)

In most states and counties real estate appraisals for financial institutions fall into the category of “Essential Businesses”. There is some discrepancy in Dallas County vs the city of Dallas as to whether appraisers are considered an Essential Business. We are searching for further clarification on this but in the meantime, we continue to provide services to our clients in a safe manner while following regulations in the counties and cities we service.

Please know that we have been taking precautions during this time to keep ourselves and others safe. If someone in your house is sick please inform the appraiser prior to the inspection. Please turn on all lights, open all doors and gates. Secure your pets. This eliminates the need for us to touch anything. Here is a link to a helpful article on helping an appraiser during an inspection as it relates to COVID-19.

What Homeowners Can Do to Assist The Appraiser During the Coronavirus Pandemic– Birmingham Appraisal Blog

We can all work together during this time to stay safe. We will continue to stay abreast of appraisal guidelines and local, county and state guidelines. As we watch the markets, we will be paying particular interest to listings and pendings as they can give us a little bit of a peek into the future.

As my grandmother often tells me, “this too shall pass”. I believe her. She lived through World War II and the Great Depression. She has been a steady rock in the lives of our family. Now she is in a nursing facility in quarantine, as she is at risk at the age of 91. I miss being able to see her. We pray that this will pass sooner than later and that we all come out stronger on the other side of this. We pray for health and safety for each of you as well. With that, I will leave you with a spring picture- change is coming and we will weather this storm.

November Newsletter-Happy Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year when family and friends gather together for the season of Thanksgiving. All of us at the DW Slater Company want to take some time to let you know that we are very thankful for you! Our clients, subscribers, and friends! We are thankful that you choose us for your real estate appraisal services, market updates, questions or concerns. As you gather together in groups big or small, may your time together be special and memorable. If you are cooking for Thanksgiving, scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for a special recipe from our family to yours!

Markets still inching up

Let’s talk about real estate! The markets in North Texas are still up. Although we have been talking about the slowing and certain markets are beginning to flatten, overall markets are still rising. The Texas economy is still very strong. According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center: The Texas economy gained 297,100 nonagricultural jobs from October 2018 to October 2019, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, higher than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.4 percent. The nongovernment sector added 284,600 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent, also more than the nation’s employment growth rate of 1.5 percent in the private sector . Jobs and people continue to migrate to the DFW area. With its recent purchase of Ameritrade, Charles Schwab will be moving its headquarters to Westlake in Tarrant County. To make room for all those relocating to North Texas, PMB Capital Investments with the purchase of 3,400 acres, just announced plans for a residential development of 10,000 homes in Wise County called Rolling V Ranch. This will be one of the largest residential master-planned developments in North Texas.

Median Sales Prices are still slightly up in our main four counties YoY. Inventory & marketing times are up and volume is either down or flat moving to a more balanced market. As noted before, we are still inching up but at a slower pace. Here are the numbers:

OCTOBER 2019
Denton County
$315,000 | +1.6%

Collin County
$335,928 | +1.8%

Dallas County
$245,000 | +2.1%

Tarrant County
$240,000 | +4.3%
OCTOBER 2019
Denton County
29 | +38.1%

Collin County
35 | +52.2%

Dallas County
22 | +46.7%

Tarrant County
18 | +28.6%
OCTOBER 2019
Denton County
3.1 | +19.2%
Collin County
3.5 | +16.7%

Dallas County
3.3 | +26.9%

Tarrant County
2.3 | +9.5%
OCTOBER 2019
Denton County
15,416 | +2.8%

Collin County
16,723 | -0.8%

Dallas County
24,787 | -1.3%

Tarrant County
28,016 | 0.0%

We will continue to watch the real estate markets. Watch for our monthly update in next month’s newsletter.



Congratulations to our own, Shannon Slater and to realtor Whitney Delcourt as they were chosen as Appraiser of the Month and Realtor of the Month from Consumer Home Value. If you have’t checked out Consumer Home Value’s website, please do. They provide a wealth of information to help consumers navitgate the home buying, selling, refinancing or remodeling process. We apprecited the kind words about our company and services from our clients and collegues.




Nana’s Jalepeno Corn Casserole

Nana’s Jalepeno Corn Casserole

Ingredients: 

Two 12 oz cans of whole kernel corn (mostly drained)

One 8 oz pkg of cream cheese

One stick of butter

One & 1/2 whole jalepeno diced ( remove seeds if mild is desired)

Salt & Pepper to taste 

Melt the cheese & butter together

Combine all ingredients in a 9X13 baking pan

Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly  (approximately 10-20 minutes)

 

This recipe is written exactly as it was given.  It will be on our table for Thanksgiving.    Enjoy!

Seasonal Changes- October Newsletter

House in Fall

Last month, I was complaining about how it was still so very hot and I was ready for the cooler fall weather. Well, yesterday we walked around a large 70-acre equine property when it was wet, misty and 45 degrees. I loved it! We are already getting a freeze warning for tonight. That is early in Texas. Some around here say we just skip fall and just go from summer to winter. Some days it certainly feels that way, but I have lived here my whole life and I know that it never stays hot forever and it never stays cold forever. Changes do come, just as they do in the real estate markets.

Real estate markets go and down. They fluctuate. This can really be seen in the interactive charts below when looking at the ups and downs from month to month. To look at a broader picture of our markets check out this chart of the real estate price cycles in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area. You can see that we have only had two big downturns. One in the ’80s which coincides with the Savings and Loan Crisis and the second on started in 2007 with the housing crisis.

The markets also change with the seasons. If it feels slower right now, that is because the markets typically do slow month to month in the fall. Looking at our markets of Denton, Collin, Dallas, and Tarrant counties there is a slowing month to month but when compared to the same time last year they are still increasing. The pace of appreciation has slowed but prices are still up YoY. We also wanted to show you the more rapid price appreciation in our more northern and rural markets of Cooke and Grayson counties. See the Cooke and Grayson County charts below. Don’t forget to hover over the charts as they are interactive.

Median Sales Price Trends

SEPTEMBER 2019
Denton County
$311,318 | +3.5%

Collin County
$329,000 | +0.9%

Dallas County
$249,000 | +3.8%

Tarrant County
$240,000 | +4.3%

Median Price Per Square Foot

SEPTEMBER 2019
Denton County
$140 | +1.4%

Collin County
$139 | +1.5%

Dallas County
$140 | +6.1%

Tarrant County
$126 | +5.0%

Median Days on Market

SEPTEMBER 2019
Denton County
34 | +25.9%

Collin County
36 | +20.0%

Dallas County
25 | +38.9%

Tarrant County
21 | +16.7%

Months Supply of Inventory

SEPTEMBER 2019
Denton County
3.0 | -9.1%

Collin County
3.3 | -13.2%

Dallas County
3.4 | +9.7%

Tarrant County
2.4 | -7.7%

Volume- Number of Sales

SEPTEMBER 2019
Denton County
1,225 | +7.2%

Collin County
1,370 | +14.2%

Dallas County
2,037 | +9.0%

Tarrant County
2,270 | +1.8%
 
 

Cooke & Grayson Counties

SEPTEMBER 2019
Cooke County
$210,000 | -1.1%

Grayson County
$185,450 | +7.2%
Cooke and Grayson counties are more rural markets with less population and fewer sales.  For these reason, they do fluctuate more.  There has been a strong increase in the median sales price for both counties within the past three year.  Cooke County sale prices have flattened out.  With the  population growth and price increases  in the North Dallas area, the demand for more affordable houses and the desire for more space have increased the prices in these counties.  
 

Interests have been dropping over the past year and increased slightly last week. With interest rates so low, refinances and housing purchases have been holding strong. Here is a look at the rates over the past year:

Mortgage Rates


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Happy Halloween!

We hope you have plans for a safe and Happy Halloween! As a member of the Pilot Point Chamber of Commerce, the DW Slater Company will be at our local Trunk or Treat. If you are local, stop by and we will give you a treat!

Check out these great reads: 

Does the market really change every seven years? – Sacramento Appraisal Blog

5 Scary Movies that Describe and Appraiser’s Job – Birmingham Appraisal Blog

The Penny… A Classic Example of Cost Not Equaling Value– Cleveland Appraisal Blog

Chick-fil-A and Starbucks Distributor or Move California Headquarters to Texas– CoStar

 

 

September Newsletter-Fall, Lamenting & Markets

Fall Leaves and Trees

Fall is officially here!– But it sure doesn’t yet feel like it in North Texas. It is still so very hot. Today David was headed to his last appraisal appointment. He looked at his device to see the temperature outside felt like 106 degrees. Whew! We are well on our way to having the record for the hottest September in North Texas. Not only is it still hot, but it also does NOT look like the picture above. Everything is still very green. As I type, the cicadas are singing their summer song which has long since lost its appeal. I need a new playlist. It is time for the weather to cool, the cicadas to end their concert and the summer wardrobe to change from summer sandals to boots & sweaters. I love the fall. I love the cooler, crisp weather. I love the fall colors and just that bit of change in the air. But, alas, I cannot rush it. It will eventually make its way here and my summer lamenting will be just a distant memory. Until then, I will keep cranking the A/C, and wait for the change. Speaking of change, do we see any change in our real estate markets?

Our markets started out the summer slowing and were almost flattening last month. However, prices are still rising- just at a much slower pace. In May we discussed the pace moving from a sports car to a tractor. We are maintaining this tractor pace as prices are still up 1-4 % YoY. This month, we are showing the seasonally adjusted charts for our main four counties. This better depicts the slowing pace of appreciation.

Median Sales Price

AUGUST 2019

Denton County
$315,000 | +0.3% 

Collin County
$339,990 | +1.5% 

Dallas County
$248,500 | +3.5% 

Tarrant County
$247,000 | +6.2%

Supply

AUGUST 2019

Denton County
3.2 | -3.0% 

Collin County
3.6 | -5.3% 

Dallas County
3.4 | +13.3% 

Tarrant County
2.5 | -3.8%

Days on Market

AUGUST 2019
 

Denton County
29 | +31.8%

Collin County

34 | +25.9%

Dallas County

20 | +11.1%

Tarrant County

18 | +28.6%

Volume

AUGUST 2019
 

Denton County
1,620 | +9.7%

Collin County

1,615 | +2.9%

Dallas County

2,318 | -3.2%

Tarrant County

2,658 | -3.2%

Although prices are still rising, you can see the signs of slowing as days on the market are longer and supply is increasing. Volume has not declined yet. Mortgage rates continue to remain very low which has kept this train moving. Demand is still high. New construction is trying to keep up with the demand. is typical for the market to slow in the fall. We will be watching these trends for next month.

In the meantime, check out some of these interesting reads from this month:

As always, if you have a question about real estate appraisals or need appraisal services, please feel free to contact us at www.dwslaterco.com

Labor Day Weekend & the Housing Market- August Newsletter

We hope that you have some great plans for labor day weekend. We have had a very busy month of August. We know that you work hard to provide good services or products in your businesses and we hope that you do get to enjoy a little time off from your labor. Whether you are making a last-minute trip or staying home for some downtime, make it a great weekend!

Our thoughts are with you that are in the path of Hurricane Dorian our prayers for safety from this unpredictable storm.

The summer months have ended up strong but flat. Sale volume is up. Sale price appreciation year to year is flat. Days are on the market are still increasing and supplies are up in Dallas and flat in the other markets.

Here’s a current look at the market trends- don’t forget to hover over the charts for more information.

Median Sales Price

JULY 2019
 

Denton County
$322,950 | +1.0%

Collin County
$343,000 | -0.2%

Dallas County
$249,700 | +1.9%

Tarrant County
$247,500 | +3.4%

Months of Supply

JULY 2019
 

Denton County
3.3 | +3.1%

Collin County
3.7 | -2.6%

Dallas County
3.5 | +25.0%

Tarrant County
2.5 | 0.0%

Days on the Market

JULY 2019
 

Denton County
25 | +31.6%

Collin County
32 | +60.0%

Dallas County
18 | +38.5%

Tarrant County
14 | +27.3%

Volume

JULY 2019
 

Denton County
1,660 | +13.6%

Collin County
1,736 | +2.5%

Dallas County
2,387 | +5.6%

Tarrant County
2,785 | -0.8%

Grayson & Cooke Counties

We wanted to also share an update on some of our more rural markets. We appraise in Cooke and Grayson counties. We have been seeing sale prices rising in these more rural, less dense markets. Some of this is due to affordability. As the prices in the North Texas market have been increasing, many are searching further north to find more affordable homes.

JULY 2019
 

Grayson County
$206,500 | +11.9%

Cooke County
$205,000 | -1.7%

What’s up with Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage rates are still at historically record lows. Per Freddie Mac, the current 30 year fixed rate is 3.58%. Although rates are low and the economy strong, we are not having the housing boom you might think. We are seeing boom in refinances but supply, affordability and the cost of construction are keeping a damper on housing.

Again, we wish you a wonderful Labor Day weekend and if you have any questions about real estate appraisals or services don’t hesitate to contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.

What is a Barndominium?

red barndominium

Do you watch Fixer Upper? Did you see the episode of the Barndominium? I truly believe the term “barndominium” was influenced by this episode of Fixer Upper. This alternative style of home is becoming more and more popular in the past few years. Basically, a barndominium is a style of home which is typically made of metal construction similar to barns. Sometimes they are attached to barns or workshops similar to the photo above or they could stand alone. These are unique homes and offer a certain lifestyle for those that love living in the country and the country lifestyle. We have seen them as barns that have been converted into living space or built designed as living space. Most of the time they are attached to barns and stall spaces.

Although the exterior of many barndominiums look like barns the interior are typically well designed, insulated and can have average to very high grade custom finishes. Here is the interior of a finished out interior barndominium:

Finished out interior of a barndominium

This style of home has actually been around a while but we have seen a recent increase in the number of barndominiums as well as an increase in prices. I agree with this article in realtor.com that this is a good term used to describe them. We used to call them “metal constructed homes” or “barnstyle homes”. Our local MLS (multi-listing service) added the term “barndominium” as a style of home in 2016 so it is now easier to search for this style of home. Prior to 2016, it was more difficult to track them as they were listed in the MLS as various types of alternative construction. You can see this chart how within the past 2 and 1/2 years in our markets barndominiums are appreciating:

Barndominiums are a Lifestyle Choice

We have seen a rise in the number of barndominiums we have appraised as well as sales in our North Texas markets. We believe that this is a great choice for those that prefer a more country lifestyle. When the living space is attached to your barn stalls, wash rooms, and tack rooms, it is convenient to go and tend to your animals within your space. Once, David, was appraising a barndominium and the new owners had just arrived from out of town. As they were in the kitchen and David was observing the interior, they had forgotten to shut on the doors and this beautiful horse strolled in and joined them all in the kitchen. They calmly led the horse back out the door into his stall but it illustrates the lifestyle of a barndominium. I liken it to those that enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the city may prefer living in a high rise, those that prefer the sights, smells and sounds of the country may prefer living in a barndominium.

Sometimes the barndominium is a converted space in the barn and used as a living area until the future main house is built. Sometimes the barndominium is designed as guest quarters or for ranch hands and other times they are the main living area and designed as such from the beginning.

Appraising Barndominiums

Appraising barndominiums can be tricky as they are a more unique style of home. As more barndos (how many shorten the term), become available on the market, they become a bit less complex. Some of the things that appraisers will look for:

Main Space or Extra Space– We have appraised some properties where the barndominium is a guest house or perhaps living quarters for a ranch hand. If the living space is not a part of the main living area, it will not be included in the main living area but as an additional feature. You can read more about living area here: What Counts as Living Area in an Appraisal?

Quality– The quality of construction will be considered in the appraisal as not all barndominiums are of the same quality. Just as some custom homes have higher grade finishes and features, the same can be found in barndominiums. It is important to compare barndominiums with similar quality of construction if possible.

Lot Size– Barndominiums are typically on acreage and the size of the acreage will have an impact on the appraisal. Ideally, if an appraiser is appraising a 2,500 sq ft barndominium on 10 acres, they would love to find comparables of similar sized sq ft on as close 10 acres as possible.

Location– as always in real estate, location is the biggest factor influencing value. A barndominium located next to a river will have a much different value than a barndominium located next to a cement plant. In our markets, there are entire subdivisions of barndominiums on 5-10 acre lots. These subdivisions are designed for an equestrian lifestyle and are located in areas where the soil is of sandy loam and most suitable horses. The locations with sandy soil have many more equine properties as well as equine hospitals, supply stores and services available. Barndominiums in these locations sell for higher prices than those located outside the more suitable soil.

Additional Buildings & Features– Appraisers will also take into consideration additional improvements to a property such as workshops, mulitple barns, arenas, fencing, etc. All of the features are to be taken into consideration for contributory values.

Barndominium converted from original barn

What do you think of Barndominiums? Have I left anything out? Would this be a style of home for you?

If you have any questions about appraising barndominiums or other real estate feel free to reach out to us at www.dwslaterco.com

The Problems with the Price Per Square Foot Method

Do you know the price per square foot method for determining the value of a property? Do you use it? This is a topic that has been written and discussed much and for good reason. Real estate agents, buyers, seller’s, lenders, or investors all like an easy way to determine the value of a home. Many will use the price per square foot method.

Example: You know that a property which is 2,500 sq ft in size sold for $350,000. You take the price of the home, divide it by 2,500 and ………..(drum roll)………- the price per square foot is $140! Now, your house is 3,500 sq ft, so using the price per square foot method, you multiply 3,500 x 140 and………..(another drum roll)…… your house is $490,000! Wow! Wasn’t that easy? Well, it might be easy but there are many problems that can occur using this method for determining value. It is my desire to share some of the reasons why this might not be the best method for many, many properties.

Many Factors Contribute to Value

One of the problems with using the price per square foot method is that it does not consider any of the other factors that contribute to the value of a home. When you use the price per square foot method, you are only considering the size of the home and nothing else. You could over price or under price a home looking at only the square footage. Here are some of the other factors that contribute to the value of a property and should be considered when determining value:

  • Location – the location of a property can have either a positive or negative impact on the value of a home. A property located with a beautiful view of a lake will have more value than a property located with a view of the local trash dump. A property located in a gated private community with access to a community pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, and a private lake will have more value than one that is not located in such a development. Would you love drinking your coffee and listening to the birds with the view below or next to the noisy highway that drowns out the sounds of the birds each morning?
This back porch view would contribute to overall the value of the property.
  • Amenities- There are so many additional features or amenities that also contribute to the overall value of a property. Some common amenities in our markets are swimming pools, pool houses, workshops, guest houses, barns, or party rooms. For lake homes, boat docks, lifts, and boathouses give added value. When you look at only the price per square foot, you are not considering any of these amenities.
  • Condition-One very important factor that impacts value is the condition of a home. If your neighbor’s house sold for $225,000 and it is the same size, same age and located next door then your house should be worth $225,000 right? Well, it would except that before their house sold, it had a new roof, all of the flooring replaced, the kitchens and bathrooms updated with new fixtures, and the interior and exterior was repainted. Your house still has the 1970’s avocado green appliances, shag carpet, popcorn ceilings, and original roof. The conditions of the two homes are not equal. Using the price per square foot method does not consider the condition of a home.
  • Quality of Construction– Similar to the condition of a home, the quality of the construction is also a factor when determining the value of a home. Understandably, a home with a much superior quality of construction will sell for more than one that is less. Real estate appraisers look for the quality of the construction in such things as the flooring, custom cabinets, high grade or commercial grade appliances, built-ins, custom trim, and finishes. Price per square foot does not consider the quality of construction.
  • Age-Related to the condition of a home is the age. It is best to compare homes that are of similar age. One of the things that appraisers determine in the appraisal process is the economic life of a property. At some point, a property will reach the end of its economic life, most of the contributory value of a property will be in the land alone. At this time, the highest and best use will be for it to be demolished. That is not to say that all older homes have reached the end of their economic life. We see many that are remodeled, preserved and well maintained. The point is that when finding homes that are comparable, having homes of similar age is important. Price per square foot does not consider the age of a home.

Law of Diminishing Returns

Another reason that price per square foot will give you inaccurate and false results has to do with the “Law of Diminishing Returns”. The law of diminishing returns is defined as” the premise that additional expenditures beyond a certain point ( the point of decreasing returns) will not yield a return commensurate with the additional investment.”- The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 4th Edition.

Let’s go with the example I began with and that the house that sold for $350,000 is located right next door to my house. Both are in the same location, have the same view, are the same age, are in the same condition, have the same quality of construction and amenities. All is the same except for the size, so the price per square foot method should be great, right? Well, unfortunately since my house is 3,500 sq ft and the house next door is 2,500 square feet. That is a very large difference in size. The law of diminishing returns would factor in here and my larger house is going to sell for a smaller price per square foot than my neighbor’s house.

Do you ever shop at Sam’s Club, Costco? The price per unit goes down the more that you buy in bulk. Back when we had all of our 7 kids at home, it was so beneficial for us to buy in bulk as the price per ounce or price per pound was less. I mean we went through a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread each day! One of the best analogies that many of you can relate to is from appraiser Ryan Lundquist as he used the analogy for Starbucks and the price per square foot–the price per ounce differences in the Tall, Venti and Grande at Starbucks diminish as the size increases. Same principle.

Price Per Square Foot and Trends

One of the reasons, I decided to write this post is because I had a reader ask me about the price per square foot trends that we publish in our monthly newsletter. Our company publishes a monthly newsletter with market updates and trends. One of the metrics that we look at is the price per square foot trend. (if you are interested in our monthly newsletter you can sign up at our website or on the sidebar of this blog) Someone wrote to me to ask about if his property had a horse barn and was on five acres would the price per square foot trends we reported apply? The answer, of course, was no.

The trends are a broad look at larger market areas and not his specific smaller market area. Plus of course, it didn’t consider his larger lot size and amenities. The trends are really just a metric to look at to see what the overall market is doing. It is one of the many things that we look at. The next time you read a headline about prices up 25% or homes selling at $125, please do not use those numbers for your own home. Each property is unique and will require an expert in valuation to help you in knowing what your home is worth.

Here is a trends chart from our newsletter-(Hover over it and you can see the numbers for each month)

So, I hope you find this helpful. Know that using the price per square foot method can get you inaccurate results. I have only shared some of the problems that would change the result of the price per square foot method. Unless a home is similar in every way, chances are there are factors that will skew the result of price per square foot. What did I leave out? Do you use this method? If you have any questions about this, appraising or real estate appraisals please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com

Helpful Resources:

Starbucks and the price per square foot – Ryan Lundquist, Appraiser from the Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Why price per square foot can be an agent’s worst enemy when pricing a home- Tom Horn, Appraiser from the Birmingham Appraisal Blog

Price Per Square Foot is a Poor Value Indicator– Bill Gassett , Realtor from the Maximum Real Estate Exposure Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Shannon Slater on Vimeo.

Happy Thanksgiving
from the DW Slater Company

It has been a very unexpected year for all of us and through it all, we are giving thanks. We believe in giving thanks in all things.  We give thanks to you, our clients that have trusted us for your appraisal service needs this year. 
 
Our Thanksgiving time with family will be different this year due to Covid19 concerns but through it all, we are thankful for our family and friends. We have learned to cherish all connections no matter how we are connecting.  We wish you the same as you connect with your family and friends, whatever it may look like this year.  

Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.”– Catherine Pulsifer
 
Happy Thanksgiving! 

5 Things You Should Research Before Downsizing During the Pandemic

This is a guest post from blogger Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. Thank you for providing this important information for older adults.

Even under normal circumstances, downsizing your home can be a complex and stressful transition. With COVID-19 still a public health threat and seniors most at risk, downsizing in the coming weeks and months can be even more complicated. However, finding the perfect home for your golden years doesn’t have to be so challenging. You can keep yourself protected from coronavirus and undue stress by researching these downsizing essentials.

COVID-19 Rules and Precautions

If you’re like most seniors, COVID-19 is at the front of your mind even when it comes to downsizing. That’s because COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, including purchasing property. So, if you are looking for a new home for your retirement, know that you can use 3D walkthroughs, video-conference tours, and virtual open houses to stay safe. You should also check in with your state’s current COVID-19 updates before you begin downsizing. Pay special attention to reopening plans, as this can impact your home search and move.

Housing Market Prices and Trends

Real estate in some parts of the country shuddered at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the market is picking up steam in many states. Still, you should check in with your real estate agent or check online to see what current housing trends look like in your particular area. Better yet, you can hire DW Slater Company for reliable and expert home appraisal services.

In terms of housing prices, seniors looking to downsize may be in for a bit of sticker shock when it comes to their new homes. That’s because despite being in a recession, housing prices in the US are not expected to fall as drastically as they did back in 2008. So you may end up paying quite a bit more for a smaller home than you were originally expecting.

Aging in Place Home Modifications

Your new home should be perfect for you now and in the future. So as you begin thinking about what sort of features you would like to have in your new home, also start thinking about what sort of home design features will help you age in place. Keep in mind that you can DIY many updates, but some projects will require a professional. Having your cabinets lowered, floors updated or a stairlift added are all modifications that should be completed by a pro Just be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 when scheduling projects. This can include asking contractors about their exposure to coronavirus and requesting they wear protective gear, including shoe covers and masks, while they work inside of your home.

Local Cost of Living Statistics

Comfort and stability are key to preserving your quality of life in retirement and this is why you should calculate costs of living for your desired location. Your housing expenses are bound to make up the bulk of your costs of living, but things like groceries and transportation costs should also be considered. Healthcare costs can be a major expense for seniors as well, so make sure you have the right healthcare plan and will be able to afford the care you need in retirement. Most retirees spend an average of $6,700 out of pocket each year for their healthcare costs, but this total can vary according to your insurance or Medicare coverage and your individual needs.

Downsizing and Moving Guides 

Last but certainly not least, you will want to create a plan for downsizing your household. Since things are already so stressful right now, consider using a downsizing guide to help you check each essential task off of your list. For instance, this downsizing guide has some helpful tips for coping with the emotions that often come with decluttering and downsizing your personal possessions. In addition to researching tips for downsizing your home, you should also look for moving guides that include special precautions and considerations for reducing COVID-19 risks.

Downsizing can free up a lot of time, money, and stress for your retirement. So don’t let worries about coronavirus put a damper on your downsizing plans. With a few added precautions, you can keep your move safe and then you can settle into your golden years even sooner!

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Author: Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. You can find more about Elder Freedom at their site: http://elderfreedom.net/